Left Handed FGN Guitars - Body of an FGN JIL2ASHDE664RL with an open pore white finish.

Left Handed FGN Guitars 2024 – Meticulous Japanese Craftsmanship

by Chris

December 10, 2023

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Last Updated on December 13, 2023 by Chris

Does FGN Make Left Handed Guitars?

Absolutely! FGN, short for Fujigen, definitely caters to the lefty musician. At the time of writing, there are 2 left handed FGN guitars available outside of Japan. There are other models available domestically in Japan, so you may be able to get those imported.

Go straight to the lefty Fujigen guitars, or read on for more info.

Please note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I may get a small commission if you buy anything when you click through. If you do make a purchase, then thank you so much! It really helps me keep this website going.

Who Are FGN?

Fujigen Factory

Fujigen (originally known as Fuji String Instrument Manufacturing Co., Ltd.), a revered name in guitar-making, has its roots deeply embedded in the rich history of Japanese craftsmanship. Established in 1960 in Matsumoto, Fujigen first produced classical guitars but then shifted to electric guitars the following year.

Soon they gained prominence as an OEM manufacturer.

In 1982, the company solidified its footing by partnering with CBS Fender. Some have said that these Fujigen instruments were of better quality than those that Fender made themselves at the time.

By 1983, production had reached 14,000 instruments per month (the highest in the world at the time) with 80% of guitars being made for export markets and 20% for Japanese domestic markets.

The company had cemented its position as the number one guitar manufacturer in Japan, with some even regarding it as the best in the world.

As well as Fender, they were behind some of the world’s most iconic guitar brands, including the likes of Antoria, Dean, Epiphone, G&L, Gibson, Greco, Gretsch, Ibanez, Music Man, Spector, and Yamaha, especially during the 1980s and 1990s, which is a period often hailed as a golden era for Japanese guitar manufacturing.

Fujigen Headquarters, Nagano, Japan

By 1989, the company changed its name to FujiGen Co. Ltd. The expertise developed during years of OEM work was unparalleled. Their focus on quality, rather than quantity helped to hone their skills in precision, attention to detail, and innovative techniques, setting a high standard in the industry.

Fujigen’s commitment to quality was evident in every instrument they crafted, and they carried this commitment forward to their own high-grade brand of guitars, FGN.

In some respects, they can be compared to Korean OEM manufacturers Cor-Tek, who have also made guitars for many brands, as well as their in-house guitar brand Cort.

The new FGN brand was a statement of their mastery and a showcase of Japan’s finest guitar-making techniques.

FGN guitars have become synonymous with exceptional craftsmanship, and incorporate unique features like the ‘Circle Fretting System‘ (CFS), which was created by FGN to offer enhanced clarity in articulation and tone.

Each fret on the fingerboard is crafted with a subtle curve, ensuring that each string intersects the frets at a 90-degree angle. This design minimizes string contact with each fret, resulting in a consistent scale length across all strings, unlike the variable scale length found in standard guitars.

The Circle Fretting System (C.F.S.) addresses traditional fretting challenges in guitars and basses, offering enhanced clarity in articulation and tone.

The brand’s dedication to quality craftsmanship has garnered a loyal following among guitarists worldwide, a testament to the enduring legacy of Fujigen’s commitment to excellence in guitar making.

Well-known guitarists who have played FGN guitars include Every Time I Die guitarist and AEW pro wrestler Andy “The Butcher” Williams.

Andy Williams of Every Time I Die performing at the With Full Force Festival 2013, photo credit: Henry Laurisch, Creative Commons

What Do I Think of FGN Guitars?

Fujigen is one of those brands that you either know about or don’t. They may not be the most well-known brand out there, but they’ve built guitars for some of the most famous brands around.

I can’t remember exactly when I first heard of Fujigen, it was sometime in the nineties, but after I did, I certainly heard about their reputation for high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail when making guitars for those other companies.

So when I found out that Fujigen made its own guitars, I had to check them out! I loved their modern take on some classic designs, which have made them a guitar brand that stuck in my mind.

I think I’m quite superficial when it comes to guitars… If I like the look of them, then I’m interested in them and want to check them out further. FGN Guitars aren’t just about the looks though, they sound amazing too!

Left Handed FGN Guitars

FGN has offered a variety of models for lefties over the years, but at the time of writing, there are 2 left handed FGN electric guitars available outside of Japan. Check them out below.

JIL2ASHDE664RL

Left Handed FGN Guitars - A left handed FGN JIL2ASHDE664RL with an open pore white finish

Made in Japan

ProsCons
Circle Fretting System (C.F.S.): This unique system offers better pitch and articulation, providing even scale length across strings and clearer tones. Beneficial for both chords and single notes.

Compound Radius Fingerboard: It has a smaller (rounder) radius near the nut and a larger (flatter) radius towards the neck end, facilitating easier chord playing at lower frets and less stress when bending strings at higher registers.

Extended Scale Length: The 664mm (26.14″) long scale neck, which is slightly longer than regular, is ideal for down-tuned heavy gauge strings but still comfortable for regular play.

J-Standard Fret Edge Treatment: This treatment ensures smooth and comfortable playability along the neck.
Finish Options: Limited finish options for lefty guitarists (Open Pore White), which might not appeal to players looking for more colors.

Availability: As a specific model from a Japanese manufacturer, it might not be as readily available in all regions.

String Tension: The longer scale length, while beneficial for down-tuning, could result in higher string tension for certain tunings.




Specs:

  • STRINGS: 6
  • SCALE: 26.14″ (664 mm)
  • BODY: Ash
  • BODY FINISH: Open Pore White, Matte
  • NECK: Bolt-on Maple
  • NECK PROFILE: U
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood with Dot inlays
  • FINGERBOARD RADIUS: Compound Radius (250 – 350 mm)
  • FRETS: 24 Jumbo C.F.S. (Circle Fretting System)
  • TUNERS: GOTOH Magnum Lock / Gotoh SG381-07/R MG-T
  • BRIDGE: FGN FB-S05/L
  • HARDWARE: Black
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: FISHMAN Fluence Modern Humbucker Ceramic PRF-MHB-CB1
  • NECK PICKUP: FISHMAN Fluence Modern Humbucker Alnico PRF-MHB-AB1
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Tone with Push-Pull (Fishman Fluence Voice Select), 3-Way Lever
  • FACTORY TUNING: Drop-C (1D, 2A, 3F, 4C, 5G, 6C)

Check price/availability at:

JIL2ASHML

Left Handed FGN Guitars - A left handed FGN JIL2ASHML with an off white blonde finish

Made in Japan

ProsCons
Circle Fretting System (C.F.S.): This system provides better pitch and articulation, with a unique fret installation that ensures minimal string contact on frets, leading to clearer tones and improved dimension in chords and single notes.

Compound Radius Fingerboard: The fingerboard’s varying radius from nut to neck end allows for easier chord playing at lower frets and less stress when bending strings at higher registers.

J-Standard Fret Edge Treatment: This treatment ensures a smooth playing experience along the fret edges.
Limited Finish Options: The guitar is available in Off White Blonde, which might not appeal to players looking for different colors.

Availability: As a specific left-handed model from a Japanese brand, it might not be readily available in all regions.

Seymour Duncan Pickups with 4-Way Switch: The pickups provide a wide range of tonal options, as well as the ability to have both pickups in serial or parallel, giving more options than traditional guitars of this type.

Specs:

  • STRINGS: 6
  • SCALE: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • BODY: Ash
  • BODY FINISH: Off White Blonde, Gloss
  • NECK: Bolt-on Maple
  • NECK PROFILE: U
  • FINGERBOARD: Maple with Dot inlays
  • FINGERBOARD RADIUS: Compound Radius (250 – 350 mm)
  • FRETS: 22 Medium C.F.S. (Circle Fretting System)
  • TUNERS: Vintage style / GOTOH SD91-05M/R
  • BRIDGE: FGN TP-T6B/L
  • HARDWARE: Chrome & Nickel
  • BRIDGE PICKUP: Seymour Duncan Vintage ’54 Tele STL-1
  • NECK PICKUP: Seymour Duncan STR-1
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Tone, 4-Way Lever
  • FACTORY TUNING: Standard

Check price/availability at:

Final Thoughts

FGN guitars are top-notch instruments. They’re a testament to the passion and craftsmanship of the people who work on them. For any lefty guitarist out there, FGN is worth checking out.

There are just two lefty options, though, with one having an extended scale length. While this is a welcome addition to those interested in playing in drop-tuning, there could be more choice overall for left handed guitarists.

Also, no lefty basses! Or hollow-bodied guitars. Granted, there is only one of each available for right handed folks, but it’s always nice to have the choice as well.

Other models are available in Japan, however, such as their Neo Classic Series S-Type guitar, the NST, as well as Neo Classic P and J-Type basses. You’d have to import one from Japan though if you wanted one.

It’s a shame there is only a fraction of the Japanese range available in the West, as there are some really beautiful instruments available there, especially some of those ordered through Fujigen’s Web Order System.

What do you think of FGN / Fujigen guitars? Let us know in the comments!

Image credits: FGNGuitars.com, FGNGuitarsusa.com & Fujigen.co.jp

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